Summary: Kuwait is a small but wealthy country, thanks to its oil reserves. The Kuwait Royal Family is one of the richest royal families in the world due to their investment prowess and control over a significant amount of Kuwait’s oil reserves. In this article, we will delve into aspects that contribute to the net worth of Kuwait’s royal family.
1. Oil Industry
Starting from the 1930s, Kuwait has been one of the world’s largest producers and exporter of crude oil. As a result, Kuwait’s economy is largely dependent on the oil industry, and members of the Royal Family have played a crucial role in managing and governing the industry. Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), invests in some of the world’s largest oil companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, providing the Royal Family with a significant revenue stream.
The current Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, holds the position of Oil Minister, giving him direct control over the oil industry and profits generated as a result of oil exports. The profitability of the oil industry contributes significantly to the net worth of Kuwait’s Royal Family.
Moreover, the Royal Family owns shares in several oil companies, which further increases their net worth. According to reports, the Kuwaiti Royal Family owns a stake in OAO LUKOIL – Russia’s second-largest oil company by volume. The shares are held through The Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), in which the KIA has a controlling interest.
2. Real Estate
The Royal Family’s considerable wealth enables them to invest in real estate development projects in Kuwait and worldwide. They own a significant amount of real estate both locally and internationally, with notable properties located in London, New York, and Paris. In London alone, the Royal Family is said to own properties worth around £3bn.
The Kuwait Investment Authority-owned St. Martin’s Courtyard development located in Covent Garden houses dozens of high-end designer shops, restaurants, and luxurious apartments. The value of the property continues to increase, which means more wealth for the Royal Family’s coffers.
The investments in real estate and other assets around the globe contribute to the net worth of Kuwait’s Royal Family.
3. Business and Investments
Kuwait’s Royal Family acts as a vast conglomerate controlling a significant portion of the various business industries in Kuwait and around the world. Apart from owning stakes in oil companies, there are notable investments in the telecommunications industry, real estate, aviation, and many more. The investments extend to the stock market, with the Royal Family owning shares in leading companies in various countries, including the UK, US, and Japan.
Additionally, the Royal Family has invested significantly in businesses related to car dealerships, shopping malls, luxury hotels, and resorts worldwide. Notable hotels include the Four Seasons Hotel in London and the Carlyle Hotel in New York.
The business and investment interests of Kuwait’s Royal Family continue to increase their net-worth substantially.
4. Art Collection
Kuwait’s Royal Family is known for its passion for art and culture. The family owns one of the world’s most extensive privately held art collections, estimated to be worth over $1bn. The collection features works of art from medieval times to contemporary art, including notable pieces by Picasso and Van Gogh.
The art collection owned by the Royal Family is a reflection of their cultural appreciation, and something that is likely to have appreciated in value over time.
Art investments are often considered a hedge against inflation, so the Royal Family’s art collection is an asset class that continues to contribute significantly to their net worth.
5. Government positions
Members of Kuwait’s Royal family hold various government positions that provide them with access to substantial financial remuneration and benefits. For instance, the current Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is entitled to an annual salary, which is estimated to run into millions of dollars.
Several other members of the Royal Family hold senior government positions, including those in the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior. The resulting salaries, bonuses, and benefits contribute to their considerable wealth.
The Royal Family’s government positions have helped them build a vast empire and immense wealth over several generations.
In conclusion, Kuwait’s Royal Family owes its fortune to various sources, including their investment prowess, control over the oil industry, real estate investments, and art collections, among others. These investments have enabled the Royal Family to accumulate significant wealth over several generations. The Royal Family’s wealth has little transparency, but given their vast investment empire, there is no doubt it will continue to increase in value, making them one of the wealthiest families in the world for the foreseeable future.